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Author Topic: libertarians: should us senators be elected by the people?  (Read 5138 times)
True Federalist
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« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2007, 12:21:07 am »
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This isn't really a question for Libertarians, it's a question for Federalists.  As far as Libertarianism is concerned, how Senators are elected is unimportant.  However, as an ardent Federalist, I want to see the 17th amendment repealed.
Ernest I would be interested in hearing your reason for that. As I mentioned I don't have a strong feeling one way or the other, but I might be convinced by a good argument.

Unless Libertarians start controlling State legislatures, the Senators that get elected will still be Republicrats or what ever the predominant political party happens to be.  Indeed, one could argue that since the current system at least allows for a small-l libertarian independent to be elected Senator, popular vote increases the chance that there will libertarian Senators.

However, it definitely is a Federalism issue as Senators elected by State legislatures are less likely to pass laws that place burdens on State governments.
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« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2007, 12:43:57 am »
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The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.  Duties and imposts are tariffs. Excise taxes according to the Law.com dictionary are defined as follows:
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.


As you can see they are not income taxes and are specifically distinguished from income taxes.

The term "indirect tax" does not come from the constitution. It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
 

When did Article I Section 8 Clause 1 get amended?

Quote
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

That clause grants a broad Tax power, then limits what the money may be spent on, and then limits the manner in which Duties, Imposts and Excises can be imposed.

Clauses 4 and 5 of Article I Section 9 then places additional restrictions on the ability of Congress to tax by specifying how direct taxes are to be levied and baring taxes on exports.

Note that without the 16th Amendment, one could argue that Article I Section 9 Clause 5 bars the taxing of income derived from exporting goods.
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« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2007, 02:31:25 am »
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The people should not directly elect their senators.  They should elect people on the STATE level to appoint people to go on to the federal government.  This makes state elections more meaningful and their power more important, therefore, increasing the power of the states.  Direct election of senators is another attack on state's rights.

How is this an attack on states' rights?

I believe the direct election of U.S. senators by all the people of a state promotes democracy and freedom because then these U.S. senators represent the voice of the majority of all state residents, not the interests of the ruling party of the state legislature.

I understand that the U.S. house is the voice of the people, but the job of U.S. representatives is to serve the interests of your district first, and then the state.  U.S. senators further the interests of the entire state, and should therefore be elected by a majority of all state residents, not on a district-by-district basis, which would occur if they were elected by state legislatures (which are elected by district)

Having state legislatures elect U.S senators would be especially dangerous in states that have a history of being very partisan.

For example, both senators from North Dakota would likely be republicans if it were up to the legislature to decide, but the people of North Dakota chose Democrats.

Our constitution is a wonderful document, but it is a document that should reflect true democratic values first and foremost, not rigidly chained to the beliefs and concerns of our founding fathers, no matter how well intentioned they were.
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« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2007, 02:37:53 am »
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Nor is there any new content in the citizenship clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

This is incorrect, the "citizenship clause" in the 14th Amendment created "Birthright Citizenship" for anyone born in the USA regardless of the parent's citizenship.
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« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2007, 03:29:48 am »
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I'm not a Libertarian, but I'd like to comment that you guys dont know how luck you are to have an elected Senate. Such things do not exist in Canada; they are appointed. The Canadian Senate is a garbage institution and is so illegitimate it's not even funny.
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« Reply #30 on: July 02, 2007, 03:33:54 am »
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I'm not a Libertarian, but I'd like to comment that you guys dont know how luck you are to have an elected Senate. Such things do not exist in Canada; they are appointed. The Canadian Senate is a garbage institution and is so illegitimate it's not even funny.

The problem is not that it is appointed, but that it is appointed by the federal government. Austria's High Chamber is appointed by state parliaments, and things work pretty well.
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« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2007, 03:34:46 am »
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The people should not directly elect their senators.  They should elect people on the STATE level to appoint people to go on to the federal government.  This makes state elections more meaningful and their power more important, therefore, increasing the power of the states.  Direct election of senators is another attack on state's rights.

How is this an attack on states' rights?

I believe the direct election of U.S. senators by all the people of a state promotes democracy and freedom


It promotes democracy, but it certainly doesn't promote freedom. Between the two, I'd rather take freedom.
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« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2007, 06:20:24 am »
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The people should not directly elect their senators.  They should elect people on the STATE level to appoint people to go on to the federal government.  This makes state elections more meaningful and their power more important, therefore, increasing the power of the states.  Direct election of senators is another attack on state's rights.

How is this an attack on states' rights?

I believe the direct election of U.S. senators by all the people of a state promotes democracy and freedom because then these U.S. senators represent the voice of the majority of all state residents, not the interests of the ruling party of the state legislature.

I understand that the U.S. house is the voice of the people, but the job of U.S. representatives is to serve the interests of your district first, and then the state.  U.S. senators further the interests of the entire state, and should therefore be elected by a majority of all state residents, not on a district-by-district basis, which would occur if they were elected by state legislatures (which are elected by district)

Having state legislatures elect U.S senators would be especially dangerous in states that have a history of being very partisan.

For example, both senators from North Dakota would likely be republicans if it were up to the legislature to decide, but the people of North Dakota chose Democrats.

Our constitution is a wonderful document, but it is a document that should reflect true democratic values first and foremost, not rigidly chained to the beliefs and concerns of our founding fathers, no matter how well intentioned they were.


This country is not, nor ever was meant to be a democracy. We are a republic, plain and simple.
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« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2007, 07:50:19 am »
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The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.  Duties and imposts are tariffs.
 Excise taxes according to the Law.com dictionary are defined as follows:
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.


As you can see they are not income taxes and are specifically distinguished from income taxes.
Two points:

Firstly, the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1) authorizes Congress to, as Ernest pointed out, "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises." In this instance, the word "taxes" is not qualified by "direct"; therefore, income taxes are authorized.

Secondly, even if you disagree with the previous point, income taxes were considered "duties" at the time. In Great Britain during the eighteenth century, there existed a "duty ... consisting in a payment of 1 s. in the pound ... out of all salaries, fees, and perquisites, of offices and pensions." (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Bk. 1 Ch. 8).

Quote
The term "indirect tax" does not come from the constitution.
Obviously, it is shorthand for "tax that is not subject to the apportion requirement of Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 3."

Quote
It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
So James Madison and Alexander Hamilton are statists now?
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« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2007, 09:10:38 am »
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It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
So James Madison and Alexander Hamilton are statists now?
Are you saying Hamilton was not a statist? He was a proto-fascist.
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« Reply #35 on: July 02, 2007, 09:37:43 am »
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I'm not a Libertarian, but I'd like to comment that you guys dont know how luck you are to have an elected Senate. Such things do not exist in Canada; they are appointed. The Canadian Senate is a garbage institution and is so illegitimate it's not even funny.

Illegitimating and not important federal government?  I LOVE IT!
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« Reply #36 on: July 02, 2007, 11:56:25 am »
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The people should not directly elect their senators.  They should elect people on the STATE level to appoint people to go on to the federal government.  This makes state elections more meaningful and their power more important, therefore, increasing the power of the states.  Direct election of senators is another attack on state's rights.

How is this an attack on states' rights?

I believe the direct election of U.S. senators by all the people of a state promotes democracy and freedom because then these U.S. senators represent the voice of the majority of all state residents, not the interests of the ruling party of the state legislature.

I understand that the U.S. house is the voice of the people, but the job of U.S. representatives is to serve the interests of your district first, and then the state.  U.S. senators further the interests of the entire state, and should therefore be elected by a majority of all state residents, not on a district-by-district basis, which would occur if they were elected by state legislatures (which are elected by district)

Having state legislatures elect U.S senators would be especially dangerous in states that have a history of being very partisan.

For example, both senators from North Dakota would likely be republicans if it were up to the legislature to decide, but the people of North Dakota chose Democrats.

Our constitution is a wonderful document, but it is a document that should reflect true democratic values first and foremost, not rigidly chained to the beliefs and concerns of our founding fathers, no matter how well intentioned they were.


This country is not, nor ever was meant to be a democracy. We are a republic, plain and simple.

Truer words have never been typed on this forum.

But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House. To have a directly elected Senate just creates redundancy. COuld you imagine how chaotic the U.N. would be if we had countries' ambassadors directly elected instead of appointed by those countries' governments?
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« Reply #37 on: July 02, 2007, 12:18:06 pm »
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But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House.
I will ask again what I asked before: What is a state, if it is not the group of people living in a particular area? Why is it the case that the Senate represents a state's interests if it is chosen by the people of that state indirectly, but not if it is chosen by the people of that state directly?

COuld you imagine how chaotic the U.N. would be if we had countries' ambassadors directly elected instead of appointed by those countries' governments?
There is a significant difference. The United States Congress is a lawmaking body. The laws made by that Congress bind the people directly; they are not meant to regulate the activities of the state governments themselves. The United Nations, on the other hand, is not an organization that organization that governs any people whatsoever; its regulations and orders affect the governments directly.
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« Reply #38 on: July 02, 2007, 12:18:19 pm »
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The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.  Duties and imposts are tariffs.
 Excise taxes according to the Law.com dictionary are defined as follows:
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.


As you can see they are not income taxes and are specifically distinguished from income taxes.
Two points:

Firstly, the Constitution (Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1) authorizes Congress to, as Ernest pointed out, "lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises." In this instance, the word "taxes" is not qualified by "direct"; therefore, income taxes are authorized.

Secondly, even if you disagree with the previous point, income taxes were considered "duties" at the time. In Great Britain during the eighteenth century, there existed a "duty ... consisting in a payment of 1 s. in the pound ... out of all salaries, fees, and perquisites, of offices and pensions." (Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England, Bk. 1 Ch. Cool.

Quote
The term "indirect tax" does not come from the constitution.
Obviously, it is shorthand for "tax that is not subject to the apportion requirement of Art. I, Sec. 2, Cl. 3."

Quote
It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
So James Madison and Alexander Hamilton are statists now?
Hamilton was a statist  and Madison argued against the carriage tax that was mentioned earlier. Individual income taxes were never collected prior to the civil war when war spending drove the politicians to collect money in whatever way possible. And it was a very contentious issue when they did it.

BTW this is somewhat off topic but is an interesting sidenote: The last time the government was debt free was in 1835, long before income taxes were collected. Now, while the government takes in nearly a trillion dollars a year in income taxes, we are in debt up to the eyeballs. Another result of the statists policies.
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« Reply #39 on: July 02, 2007, 12:20:47 pm »
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The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.  Duties and imposts are tariffs. Excise taxes according to the Law.com dictionary are defined as follows:
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.


As you can see they are not income taxes and are specifically distinguished from income taxes.

The term "indirect tax" does not come from the constitution. It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
 

When did Article I Section 8 Clause 1 get amended?

What did I say that conflicts with the constitution?
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« Reply #40 on: July 02, 2007, 12:49:10 pm »
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Hamilton was a statist  and Madison argued against the carriage tax that was mentioned earlier.
The point is not whether the carriage tax specifically was or was not constitutional. The point is that the distinction between direct and indirect taxes was recognized even by James Madison. It was also recognized by a unanimous Supreme Court in Hylton v. United States; three of the judges who wrote opinions (Paterson, Iredell, Wilson) were at the Constitutional Convention. It was also recognized by Justice Joseph Story in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States ("[Taxes] are usually divided into two great classes, those, which are direct, and those, which are indirect." Vol. II Sec. 947).

Therefore, with all due respect, your claim that the distinction between direct and indirect taxes was invented by "19th century statists" is utterly absurd.

In fact, if there is no distinction, then why does the Constitution specifically use the words "direct tax" in the first place? Why not simply say that all taxes shall be subject to the appropriation rule? No, the fact that the Constitution makes a specific reference to the category of direct taxes clearly indicates that there also exists a category of indirect taxes. The only question is, is the income tax a direct tax or an indirect tax? There are certainly some arguments to suggest that the income tax is the former, but since none have actually been made in this thread, I don't see how I can respond to them.

Quote
Individual income taxes were never collected prior to the civil war when war spending drove the politicians to collect money in whatever way possible.
Just because X did not happen before the Civil War, it does not follow that X is unconstitutional. Perhaps you hold that spending money on an Air Force is unconstitutional as well?

Quote
BTW this is somewhat off topic but is an interesting sidenote: The last time the government was debt free was in 1835, long before income taxes were collected. Now, while the government takes in nearly a trillion dollars a year in income taxes, we are in debt up to the eyeballs. Another result of the statists policies.
So what? I oppose the income tax quite strongly, but I certainly don't hold the highly suspect and entirely unsupported view that the income tax is or was ever unconstitutional.
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« Reply #41 on: July 02, 2007, 06:08:14 pm »
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Hamilton was a statist  and Madison argued against the carriage tax that was mentioned earlier.
The point is not whether the carriage tax specifically was or was not constitutional. The point is that the distinction between direct and indirect taxes was recognized even by James Madison. It was also recognized by a unanimous Supreme Court in Hylton v. United States; three of the judges who wrote opinions (Paterson, Iredell, Wilson) were at the Constitutional Convention. It was also recognized by Justice Joseph Story in his Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States ("[Taxes] are usually divided into two great classes, those, which are direct, and those, which are indirect." Vol. II Sec. 947).

Therefore, with all due respect, your claim that the distinction between direct and indirect taxes was invented by "19th century statists" is utterly absurd.

In fact, if there is no distinction, then why does the Constitution specifically use the words "direct tax" in the first place? Why not simply say that all taxes shall be subject to the appropriation rule? No, the fact that the Constitution makes a specific reference to the category of direct taxes clearly indicates that there also exists a category of indirect taxes. The only question is, is the income tax a direct tax or an indirect tax? There are certainly some arguments to suggest that the income tax is the former, but since none have actually been made in this thread, I don't see how I can respond to them.

Quote
Individual income taxes were never collected prior to the civil war when war spending drove the politicians to collect money in whatever way possible.
Just because X did not happen before the Civil War, it does not follow that X is unconstitutional. Perhaps you hold that spending money on an Air Force is unconstitutional as well?

Quote
BTW this is somewhat off topic but is an interesting sidenote: The last time the government was debt free was in 1835, long before income taxes were collected. Now, while the government takes in nearly a trillion dollars a year in income taxes, we are in debt up to the eyeballs. Another result of the statists policies.
So what? I oppose the income tax quite strongly, but I certainly don't hold the highly suspect and entirely unsupported view that the income tax is or was ever unconstitutional.

I don't have a problem with distinguishing duties, imposts and excises from direct taxes. If you call them indirect as a way to distinguish them that's Ok. Its when you use that term to cover income taxes as well that you  are stretching the constitution.
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« Reply #42 on: July 02, 2007, 06:12:36 pm »
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The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.  Duties and imposts are tariffs. Excise taxes according to the Law.com dictionary are defined as follows:
excise
n. a tax upon manufacture, sale or for a business license or charter, as distinguished from a tax on real property, income or estates. Sometimes it is redundantly called an excise tax.


As you can see they are not income taxes and are specifically distinguished from income taxes.

The term "indirect tax" does not come from the constitution. It has been used by statists to create something which the constitution does not provide for.
 

When did Article I Section 8 Clause 1 get amended?

What did I say that conflicts with the constitution?

The constitution provides for Direct taxes ( taxes paid to the federal govt by the states in proportion to their population). It also provides for duties, imposts and excises.

You certainly implied that only direct taxes, duties, imposts, and excises were constitutional as means of compelling income.  As I pointed out in the portion of my post you didn't quote, even before the 16th amendment, the power to raise funds was broader than that.
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My ballot:
Ervin(I) Gov.
Sellers(D) Lt. Gov.
Hammond(R) Sec. of State
Diggs(D) Att. Gen.
Herbert(D) Comptroller Gen.
Spearman(R) Supt. of Education
DeFelice(American) Commissioner of Agriculture
Hutto(D/Working Families) US Sen (full)
Scott(R) US Sen (special)
Geddings(Labor) US House SC-2
Quinn(R) SC House District 69
TBD: Lex 1 School Board
Yes: Am. 1 (allow charity raffles)
No: Am. 2 (end election of the Adj. General)
No: Local Sales Tax
Yes: Temp Beer/Wine Permits
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« Reply #43 on: July 02, 2007, 06:22:05 pm »
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But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House.
I will ask again what I asked before: What is a state, if it is not the group of people living in a particular area? Why is it the case that the Senate represents a state's interests if it is chosen by the people of that state indirectly, but not if it is chosen by the people of that state directly?

Okay, replace "state" with "state government".
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« Reply #44 on: July 02, 2007, 06:22:55 pm »
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I'm not a Libertarian, but I'd like to comment that you guys dont know how luck you are to have an elected Senate. Such things do not exist in Canada; they are appointed. The Canadian Senate is a garbage institution and is so illegitimate it's not even funny.

Illegitimating and not important federal government?  I LOVE IT!

Um, no just the Senate. And BTW, they voted to make same-sex marriage too, so I don't think you'd be quite the type to be "Loving it". I'm sure you just love unelected officials voting to have "they gays" marry.
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« Reply #45 on: July 02, 2007, 06:26:07 pm »
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I don't have a problem with distinguishing duties, imposts and excises from direct taxes. If you call them indirect as a way to distinguish them that's Ok. Its when you use that term to cover income taxes as well that you  are stretching the constitution.
Firstly, Art. I, Sec. 8, Cl. 1 does not distinguish duties, imposts, and excises from direct taxes. The clause reads, "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises."

Secondly, I have already made an argument that the income tax is a "duty." As I said before, an income tax imposed in England prior to the American Revolution was called a "duty" in Blackstone's Commentaries, with which the Framers were indubitably familiar.

But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House.
I will ask again what I asked before: What is a state, if it is not the group of people living in a particular area? Why is it the case that the Senate represents a state's interests if it is chosen by the people of that state indirectly, but not if it is chosen by the people of that state directly?

Okay, replace "state" with "state government".
If the Senate were a body responsible for coordinating or regulating the state governments themselves, then your argument would make sense. But why should the Senate represent state governments, when the chief purpose of the Senate is to participate in making laws that directly regulate the people?
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« Reply #46 on: July 02, 2007, 06:28:46 pm »
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This isn't really a question for Libertarians, it's a question for Federalists.  As far as Libertarianism is concerned, how Senators are elected is unimportant.  However, as an ardent Federalist, I want to see the 17th amendment repealed.

w00t!!! Hear hear!!!!
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« Reply #47 on: July 02, 2007, 07:44:49 pm »
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But, the entire point of the Senate was to represent state's interests in Washington; the people already had representatives in the House.
I will ask again what I asked before: What is a state, if it is not the group of people living in a particular area? Why is it the case that the Senate represents a state's interests if it is chosen by the people of that state indirectly, but not if it is chosen by the people of that state directly?

Okay, replace "state" with "state government".
If the Senate were a body responsible for coordinating or regulating the state governments themselves, then your argument would make sense. But why should the Senate represent state governments, when the chief purpose of the Senate is to participate in making laws that directly regulate the people?

Remember that the framers of the Constitution wanted seperation of powers. Hitler was very popular with the people, but that doesn't mean he was a good leader. There are two houses of Congress, of which the people already have a voice in one. To allow the people to have a voice in the other would be pure redundancy. Also, remember that the Constitution advocated both states' rights and personal rights. Who better to choose someone who advocates personal rights than the people? Likewise, who better to choose someone who advocates states' rights than the states?
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« Reply #48 on: July 02, 2007, 09:08:22 pm »
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Remember that the framers of the Constitution wanted seperation of powers. Hitler was very popular with the people, but that doesn't mean he was a good leader. There are two houses of Congress, of which the people already have a voice in one. To allow the people to have a voice in the other would be pure redundancy.
The argumentum ad hitlerum aside, you raise a very good point. I oppose "mob rule" just as much as you do. This is precisely why the Senate and the House of Representatives should not be chosen in the same manner. If the two are chosen differently, then proper checks and balances can arise, but if the two are chosen in the same way, then each house would tend to simply rubber stamp the other's decisions.

But as it stands, the Senate and the House are chosen differently. The Senate is chosen without any reference to the population at all. That, I feel, sufficiently differentiates it from the house to allow it to become an effective check.

It is possible (but doubtful) that further distinguishing the two houses by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment would improve this check even further. But remember that there are also costs associated. A filibuster or some other equivalent tactic might block the selection of a senator. Even if filibusters on senator selection are forbidden, it is possible that a bicameral state legislature might be unable to choose a candidate if the two houses are controlled by different parties. (Note that this will not necessarily "force a compromise" between the two parties.) There was a time when the state of Delaware went unrepresented in the Senate for four years due to such a deadlock. These significant costs outweigh any potential marginal benefit.

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Also, remember that the Constitution advocated both states' rights and personal rights. Who better to choose someone who advocates personal rights than the people? Likewise, who better to choose someone who advocates states' rights than the states?
After the Civil War, the Senate, even though chosen by the state legislatures, was very far from a guardian of states' "rights."
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« Reply #49 on: July 02, 2007, 09:56:36 pm »
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Remember that the framers of the Constitution wanted seperation of powers. Hitler was very popular with the people, but that doesn't mean he was a good leader. There are two houses of Congress, of which the people already have a voice in one. To allow the people to have a voice in the other would be pure redundancy.
The argumentum ad hitlerum aside, you raise a very good point. I oppose "mob rule" just as much as you do. This is precisely why the Senate and the House of Representatives should not be chosen in the same manner. If the two are chosen differently, then proper checks and balances can arise, but if the two are chosen in the same way, then each house would tend to simply rubber stamp the other's decisions.

But as it stands, the Senate and the House are chosen differently. The Senate is chosen without any reference to the population at all. That, I feel, sufficiently differentiates it from the house to allow it to become an effective check.

It is possible (but doubtful) that further distinguishing the two houses by repealing the Seventeenth Amendment would improve this check even further. But remember that there are also costs associated. A filibuster or some other equivalent tactic might block the selection of a senator. Even if filibusters on senator selection are forbidden, it is possible that a bicameral state legislature might be unable to choose a candidate if the two houses are controlled by different parties. (Note that this will not necessarily "force a compromise" between the two parties.) There was a time when the state of Delaware went unrepresented in the Senate for four years due to such a deadlock. These significant costs outweigh any potential marginal benefit.

Quote
Also, remember that the Constitution advocated both states' rights and personal rights. Who better to choose someone who advocates personal rights than the people? Likewise, who better to choose someone who advocates states' rights than the states?
After the Civil War, the Senate, even though chosen by the state legislatures, was very far from a guardian of states' "rights."

I'm glad to see that we're actually having an intelligent debate on this. aother reason for repelation of the 17th Amendment is that it would localize politics. There's a reason that the Senate was chosen by the legislatures nd the House by the people rather than the other way around. If politics are local, then government's decisions are less likely to be drastic. Likewise, if Senators are chosen by the legislatures rather than by the people, then the decisions are made by the local state legislature districts, rather than by the entire state. This also works for the HoR.
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